This post is also available in: Italiano
Here is the travel itinerary for a 2-week road trip along the deep south of the United States and the Mississippi to Nashville in Tennessee.
All the cities we have touched and the various things that deserve to be visited.
Info and advice on one of the most beautiful and unforgettable journeys of my life.
In autumn 2016, me, Simon and 2 friends made one of the most beautiful and desired trips of our life.
Since we love the unusual destinations for this holiday we decided to travel along the deep south of the United States starting from Texas, passing through Louisiana, doing Halloween in New Orleans and going up the Mississippi to Memphis and Nashville.
In between there were football and basketball games, washing machines, lots of junk food, thousands of kilometers, hotels, motels, apartments with a rooftop pool and of course skyscrapers with breathtaking views everywhere.
Austin, Texas – 2 days
Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. Impossible not to spend at least 2 days. Besides being beautiful, it is a city famous for its thousands of live music venues. In fact, you must know that when New Orleans was partly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, many musicians moved to Austin, a university city full of life. The famous 6th Street becomes pedestrian from Friday evening to Sunday and in this very long street you can find all kinds of entertainment and parties.
The part that I prefer is the district of South Congress with its vintage shops where you can always find a few gems but also the center with its historic buildings and dozens of graffiti that you can take pictures of the city are amazing. Do not forget to have a drink in some rooftop even better river view, the colors in Texas are crazy.
For other things to see in Austin, take a look at my post “What to visit in Austin” .
On the way from Austin to Bandera we stopped at:
- San Marco Premium Outlets: unmissable business on clothing and every type of accessory.
- Wimberley: where you can visit a perfectly recreated Piooner Town for free or take a look at the classic American flea markets. In my opinion very cute to see.
Bandera, Texas – 3 Days
A must for a trip along the deep south of the United States. Bandera is the last city of cowboys in fact it is still possible to go around on horseback practically anywhere. I recommend you stay a few days on a ranch and try real cowboy life. Breakfast with eggs and bacon, morning on horseback through the land of the ranch, lunch with cowboy and wrangler lunch and afternoon … well, a dip in the pool! I know it’s not like a real cowboy, but it’s hard not to take advantage of the heat it does in Texas! In the evening a nice barbecue and to finish the famous “Smores” to prepare and to roast around the fire. Does this seem like a place you can not miss? Well it is! (We have stayed here ” Silver spur Ranch” recommended!” )
During our stay at the Bandera ranch we went one day to visit San Antonio, a beautiful town where to relive part of the Texan history and its struggle for independence from Mexico. Stupendous the center that winds along the river and amazing shops where to take some shirts and special souvenirs!
NASA, Houston – 1 day
We decided not to stop in Houston because we had not found anything interesting in the city, but to go to NASA. We arrived late afternoon and took the opportunity to spend the evening in Kemah where there is the classic American pier with amusement park, rides and restaurants. Here between wooden roller coaster and burgers from Bubba Gump we had a wonderful evening while the next day we spent the visit of NASA and immediate departure to Beaux Bridges.
Breaux Bridges, Louisiana – 2 days
Breaux Bridges is the real Louisiana, a must-visit place. In addition to being the “World Capital of crayfish” and consequently I assure you great food (and drink because people are super hospitable) here you can kayak in the lake Martin in the middle of alligators, browse the shops of artists and shops second hand, visit the cajun villages and try the delicious Po’Boy or the sandwich-specialty of this region. Also going to New Orleans you can visit the various cotton plantations (we went to the Oak Alley Plantation, highly recommended) or stop to see a football game in a high school like we did.
New Orleans, Louisiana – 2 days
In New Orleans we happened upon Halloween, it does not even need to tell you what parties and customs there were during those days. In this city music and parties never stop so get ready for nighttime fun, but also during the day you have your work cut out. In addition to visiting the city you can take a cruise on one of the last steamboats (even if the view is not great), you can cross the longest bridge in the world that crosses a lake and make a brunch in “Lalou Cafe” in Mandeville, the “Hamptons” from New Orleans.
Jackson, Mississippi – 1 day
Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and a perfect stop to find a motel, break the journey and go to dinner in the delicious Parlor Market. If you decide to visit the Mississippi in more detail one of the most interesting things is the “Highway 61 Blues” or a road that through various places takes you to the discovery of the blues music and its characters ( more info here).
Leaving Jackson I suggest you take the “Natchez Trace Parkway” scenic drive that is a scenic road that winds through breathtaking landscapes as only in the movies we are used to seeing.
Memphis, Tennessee – 2 days
It will not take long to visit Memphis. The first thing to see is of course Graceland: the house of Elvis Presley, during the afternoon a ride downtown to take pictures of the old signs and theaters and then make a stop at Bourbon street and Beale Street famous for having seen the birth of the Blouse and where BB King started performing and then entered history. Place rich in history and obviously unmissable.
Nashville – 2 days
Nashville liked it to drive us crazy! Even here there is a famous street full of shops and clubs to party, it is Broadway street with bars and live music always full of people. I also recommend a visit to the factory of Gibson guitars, the Marathon Village an old red brick factory put back where you will find some bars with craft beers made in the USA and special shops and a ride to the distillery where Jack Daniels was born.
After this road trip we took a flight to Las Vegas to do another week of holiday visiting the national parks of the southwest.
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We rented the car with Alamo and we decided to put driving insurance on 3 people. This way you pay something more but it is not always the same person who has to drive and you are all insured in case of an accident. We also took a big suv because of the many kilometers that we had to do and we were 4 (very smart choice). We pre-booked the car on the site (you save money), specified that we took it in Austin and left it in Nashville (you pay a penalty sometimes even $ 300) and made a super insurance against everything and above all that in case of failure we would come to resume wherever we would have been (you never know).
I always tend to make health insurance during my travels. There are many to choose from like Allianz or interMundial. The important thing is that it is included by the rescue, repatriation, treatment, reimbursement. Pay attention and evaluate well which one to choose.
Food and petrol
Finding places to eat in America is never a problem, even the gas pumps are always well supplied with hot and cold food. Gasoline costs very little and allows you not to weigh too much on your budget. Remember that gasoline is paid first and if you don’t need all, the cashier will return you the money in the surplus.
GPS navigator and Internet
We had the GPS included with the car and we used a lot especially in areas where the phone did not take. Even an American SIM card is very useful so you can search for sights, motels or restaurants in a snap. You can do it at any mall or phone shop.
Respect speed limits because they are very strict. Make a photocopy of each of your documents, you never know. Shop for clothes, they cost very little compared to Europe. Do not carry alcohol and drink only inside the bars. Do not be surprised if people talk to you, it happens all the time, Americans especially in these states are very hospitable and … chatty!
HERE IS THE VIDEO OF MY JOURNEY ON THE ROAD ALONG THE DEEP SOUTH AND THE MISSISSIPPI
If you want to skip the route’s explanation ( in italian) jump to the 4.50 minute and enjoy the video.
Leave me a comment or if you have any questions please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is also available in: Italiano